Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oct 18 - 24 (Aftermath)

So...  I spent the rest of the weekend recovering from my idiotic pacing during my 19 mile Saturday run.  I pulled something in the middle of my right calf, and spent the weekend wearing compression socks to (hopefully) aid recovery.  We drove to Austin to cheer on some friends in the Longhorn 1/2 Ironman, so I had plenty of time in the car to unobtrusively wear my silly looking socks (I don't have the sporty looking sleeves; mine look like knee-high black dress socks). 
Monday: HRTC Beerathlon (chug a beer, run a mile, chug a beer, run a mile, chug a beer)
Averaged 6:10 min/mi, even counting the beer chug in the middle
My right calf was hurting noticeably afterwards, so I decided to take Tuesday off.  Since I had a 1/2 marathon coming up on Sunday, I wanted to give myself some chance at recovery. 
I missed the group ride at work on Tuesday (meeting/injury), so I went out for a ride on my own on Wednesday.  I took it relatively easy, but did manage a 15 minute effort at around threshold power.  (probably not clever)
Goal: 1mi wu, 6.5mi @ 6:45, 1mi cd.
I made it through about 3.5 mi of my tempo interval (6:48), and suddenly felt something give in my right calf.  It hurt.  It felt suspiciously less pleasant than the "good" sore-muscle hurt.  I slowed up, and the pain wasn't nearly as prominent.  I ran about a mile at a slower pace (8:25), then gutted out 1.5 miles at a moderate pace (7:08). 
I am now very, very concerned about the calf injury, because it is clear that it has the potential to completely derail my marathon training, which had been proceeding so well.  Aaagh!
Rode the bike at lunch with my Thursday group (didn't want to miss riding with friends).  I took the ride pretty easy, but still was faced with pretty much constant calf pain.

I spent the rest of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday being nice to my calf.  Stretching, compression socks at night, the works. 

Sunday: Houston 1/2 Marathon.  Goal: 6:50 pace and/or finish without season-ending injury.  I went into this race very concerned about how my calf would hold up, and concerned that I would run through any issues that did arise, eliminating my chances of training well in the upcoming weeks.
Result:  It was hot and humid (78 deg, 90% humidity), and I started out on pace, but my speed quickly tapered off, and I found myself running consistently above 7 minute pace.  At mile 8 I developed a mean side stitch, that dropped my speed dramatically (I averaged 8:25 over a mile, pushing through it).  It took a significant emotional toll, as I felt my hopes for a great run completely shattered.  Eventually the stitch eased, and I finished out the last 3-4 miles at a 7:26 pace.  Result: ~1:36, 7:23 pace avg.

This actually was a PR for me, since I've only run one other half, and I ran it injured.  The real bright spot in an otherwise miserable race is that I finished with my legs feeling healthy.  This bodes well for the upcoming week of training, and I can't help but feel fortunate to have made it through the race without aggravating the calf injury or injuring something else.  I'll take being healthy over having a kick-ass race in this case.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oct 11 - 17

Monday: 1000m swim
20 mile bike at lunch
Goal: 1mi wu, 2000m @ 6:45, 1600m @ 6:26, 1000m @ 6:12, 800m @ 6:02, 1mi cd
Achieved: 1mi wu, 2000m @ 6:38, 1600m @ 6:16, 1000m @ 5:58, 800m @ 5:48, 1mi cd (7:00)
Felt great. Killed it!
Goal: 1mi wu, 6mi @ 6:45, 1mi cd
Achieved: 1mi wu, 6mi @ 6:48, 1mi cd
Felt good! Huge sense of accomplishment from managing to maintain pace.
Goal: 18mi @ 7:40 - 8:20
Achieved: 19mi @ 7:55.
Today I was really, really dumb. First 4.5mi @ 8:48 (with the group), then was feeling pretty good; decided to aim for 7:15 pace, so 4.75mi @ 7:17. Slowed down to 8 min pace for 4 miles to talk with a guy in our group, then ran the last 5.6mi @ 7:35. Ran way too fast for my longest run in months, and regretted it the rest of the weekend. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oct 4 - 10

Boy, is it hard to recover from a race!

Wed: ran 3 miles; Goal: <7:00 pace
Achieved: 7:13 pace (and it was s struggle)

Goal: 1mi wu, 5 mi @ 6:26, 1mi cd
Achieved: 1 mi wu, 3.5mi @ 6:42, 1.5mi @ 6:36

This was tough. Somehow towards the end I found my stride (even though my legs were tired!), and running this pace didn't seem so hard. Early on I was working hard but never really found my stride.

Saturday: Long run/recovery run with A (14 miles).  We ran the first 8 miles together, averaging 8:30 pace, and I did a pick-up for the last 6 miles (7:06 pace), of which the last 3 were at sub-7 pace.  This run was a huge confidence booster, and the cool weather and low humidity definitely helped!

Sunday- cycling at park
Intervals- target power 95% - 105% FTP (213 W)
Achieved: 2 laps (2.36 mi @ 223w), 3 laps (3.5 mi @ 218w), 4 laps (4.7mi @ 216w), 3 laps (3.5mi @ 205w)

I noticed (during cooldown) that changing my hip angle made a difference in the feel of the pedal stroke (it also flattens out my back). I feel like I may be using my calves too much- I can pedal heel-down when I try, but it doesn't feel very natural.  I think I need to start getting in more time at threshold power- that will be one of my goals for the weekday rides going forward.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Halfmax Championship

Sept 27 - Oct 3
Race week: I had a massage on Monday (after a short swim). I'm not sure that this was a good idea, as I ended up feeling some strange twinges in my knees and calves during the week. I rode Tuesday and Thursday on my backup bike. The fit of the bike is pretty different, so I did my best to take it easy. I couldn't ride in the aerobars, as that setup is too aggressive to ride comfortably. Both days my left calf felt on the verge of cramping on the most anterior part- worrisome. Tuesday I did 3x 1000m @ 7:15, with 1.5mi wu & cd. Thursday my legs felt achy, and I decided I'd be better off without the run.

The race: We flew into Myrtle Beach around noon the day before the race, and went to the race venue and checked our bikes into transition. I had pasta for dinner, prepped my transition bag, and crashed early (~8?). On race morning, we arrived on site, and I realized that I had mistakenly racked my bike in the wrong section (I was surrounded by 20 girls). Aha! My race number is 105, not 150! So I moved my bike to the appropriate rack and got the last available spot. I got my spot organized (it was pretty roomy, since no one wanted the end), grabbed my wetsuit, and headed for the race start when the announcement was made that the swim would be cancelled due to high concentrations of bacteria (apparently a week of heavy rain had taken its toll on the intracoastal waterway). So... My best event: cancelled. To say I was disappointed would be a massive understatement. The race would now be a bike-run, with a random time trial start. A and I were near the front of the mass of starters, so we started near the beginning of the race.

Bike: It was a windy day (15-20 mph), Which made the bike more of a challenge. Two miles into the bike, I dropped my bottle of nutrition on the road (I used my half-size Performance bottle, which I'm not used to handling). I coasted on a bit, considering abandoning it, but eventually pulled a U-ey and picked it up. My goals for the bike (based on my dry run 2 weeks before) were to keep my power between 165 & 175 W, and my HR between 145 & 150. I started the race a little hot, and my first 12 miles or so my HR was well over 150, but I managed to rein it in. I was strongly hoping to average 21mph or better.

Bike result: 21.1 mph, 179W, HR 149 bpm. Right on target. (I'll have to look up what my pace would've been without the dropped bottle).

Run: I have spent the last several weeks reminding myself how to run fast, and over that time my pace goal for the run has crept downwards from 7:45min/mile to sub 7:30. I ran the first 3-4 miles at a sub 7:30 pace, fighting a side stitch the whole time, and eventually my pace slowed to ~8:15 (by that time the side stitch was gone, but it was hot, and I didn't have much kick). I had a few miles that were slower still between mile 6.5 and mile 10, then managed to pick it up a bit over the last few miles (still >8:00 pace). I finished with an 8:08 avg pace.
All in all, not too bad. With a swim (even a slow swim), I would have PR'd and had a good shot at qualifying. Without the swim, I wasn't even close to qualifying for Worlds.
Next time: Train better- more time running fast would've done me wonders. More runs after long rides. Bike pacing was good. Rode race wheels with latex tubes; no issue. Next time put Teflon tape on spare tube valve for extender. Avoid race week massage.